FIFA has imposed a 90-day suspension on Luis Rubiales, the President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), following an investigation into his alleged forced kiss of star player Jenni Hermoso. The incident took place after Spain’s national team won the Women’s World Cup in Sydney earlier this month.
In a statement released on Saturday, FIFA announced that Rubiales is prohibited from participating in any football-related activities at both the national and international levels during the provisional ban. The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has also ordered Rubiales, as well as all RFEF officials and staff, to refrain from contacting Hermoso directly or indirectly while the investigation is ongoing.
FIFA has emphasized that no further information regarding the disciplinary proceedings will be provided until a final decision is reached. The governing body has reiterated its commitment to respecting the integrity of all individuals and strongly condemns any behavior to the contrary.
The incident in question occurred on the victor’s podium after Spain’s victory over England in the Women’s World Cup on August 20. Rubiales, who had previously been caught on camera grabbing his crotch after the final whistle, embraced Hermoso and kissed her on the lips during the celebration. Hermoso, who holds the record for the most goals scored in Spanish women’s football history, described Rubiales’ behavior as “sexist, impulsive, out of place and non-consensual.” She expressed her displeasure in a statement, stating that she felt vulnerable and had been the victim of assault. In response, the women’s national team vowed not to play again until Rubiales and other federation leaders resigned.
The RFEF responded by threatening to take legal action against Hermoso in defense of Rubiales. The federation announced its intention to present evidence refuting the allegations made either by someone on behalf of the player or by Hermoso herself. Rubiales refused to resign and claimed that he had sought and obtained Hermoso’s permission to give her “a little peck.” He accused “false feminists” of targeting him for “social murder.”
The Spanish government’s sports council announced on Friday that Rubiales would be suspended while his case is reviewed by a court of arbitration. If the court finds that Rubiales violated Spanish sports regulations, such as provisions on “dignity and decorum” and “abuses of authority,” he could face a ban of two to 15 years.
The investigation into Rubiales’ misconduct highlights the importance of respecting the boundaries and consent of others, particularly in a professional setting. The consequences faced by Rubiales serve as a reminder of the serious repercussions that can arise from non-consensual behavior. The outcome of the disciplinary proceedings will shed further light on the incident and determine the appropriate course of action to address the issue.